Otterbox Protection for Devices: Symmetry, Pursuit, Defender, and Alpha Glass

With new iPhones coming out and the recently released Galaxy Note 9, consumers are looking to protect their investments. Otterbox has been a trusted company by many to provide this protection. We got the privilege of receiving some of their cases and a screen protector to review.

Otterbox Symmetry Series

all photos credit:Otterbox

The Symmetry series provides cases in many colors and designs- too numerous to list them all. This particular case is called “Gradient Energy.”

All of the Symmetry cases offer Otterbox Certified Drop Protection. They’re easy to put on and take off. The cases are ultra-slim, so you can wirelessly charge and use Apple Pay.

Symmetry cases vary in price greatly, so we’ll just tell you the prices of the cases we received to review. The iPhone XS Max case in Gradient Energy is $54.95. The same case for the Samsung Galaxy Note S9 is also $54.95. There is not quite as many styles and colors for the Note S9, though.

Otterbox Pursuit Series


The Pursuit case is said to be ultimate protection. In addition to the sturdiness of the case, it also offers an ultra-thin design. It protects from dust, mud, dirt and snow. Good to take skiing or backpacking. This case offers enhanced audio and the ability to access the screen directly. There are port covers to keep unwanted materials out, but still provide access when needed.

This case also comes in various colors- including this clear one with the black edges. We received an all black one. There are other colors, too. $79.95 will purchase this case for the iPhone XS Max. Check out the website for more colors and device options.

Otterbox Defender Series

 

This case that we received for the iPhone X/Xs is the screenless edition. The multi-layer case offers great drop protection, and protects from dust as well. It comes with a holster that attaches to your belt with a clip. Otterbox Defender has been around for a long time. We even reviewed it back in 2012 on the iPhone 5! It still has the great reliability and standard you can trust. Different colors and cases for different devices will bring different prices, but for this particular case- $49.95.

Otterbox Alpha Glass Screen Protector

Otterbox screen protectors are cut precisely for their cases. If you get an Otterbox cases, you will probably want to get the screen protectors made to go with them. The Otterbox website offers a discount when the screen protector is purchased with many of their cases.

The protector is reactive to touch and fortified to protect from splintering and shattering. Most important is that the screen below doesn’t get damaged. The Alpha Glass protector for the Samsung Galaxy Note9 is $44.95. It wraps nicely around the edges to get that edge protected. It comes with edges for the top and bottom of the note 9, and some cleaners. Glass protectors really need to be placed carefully.

This wraps up our review of Otterbox products. Thanks to Otterbox for sending us these to review free of charge with no other compensation in exchange for our honest and unbiased review.

 

 

BlueLounge Product Review: Posto and Products to Manage Your Cables

With all the technology we have to deal with these days, there is an inevitable mess of cables. BlueLounge is a company that creates gadgets to help manage that mess. We have the opportunity to review some of those items today.

BlueLounge Posto

photo credit: BlueLounge

This device is a stand to hang your headphones on. With dimensions of 4.25 x 4.25 x 9.6 in, Posto will give you a place to store headphones and reduce clutter on your desk. It comes in black or white, and will accommodate all sizes of headphones.

The headrest is rubberized- made to form to the headphones. The base is a sturdy aluminum. It looks very classy. You can purchase a base of your own for $19.99.

 

BlueLounge CableDrop

Discouraged by cables everywhere? This product comes in a mini size for little cables like MicroUSB and Apple Lightning connectors. They also come in a regular size for larger cords. The sticky back is perfect for sticking to desks, walls. People even use them in their bathrooms!

They come in many color choices- black, white, bright,  and muted. You get six CableDrops in a package. If you purchase the mini version, there are 9 in the package. They both cost $9.95. Their plastic build is firm, but somewhat flexible. The adhesive backing eventually becomes permanent over time, so you should take precautions when trying to remove them.

BlueLounge Cableyoyo

We’ve reviewed similar management systems for earbuds and their cables. This system is unique in that it has a magnetic center that holds the earbuds. You could also store lightning cables in it. It’s also made of silicon- rather than the hard plastic ones we’ve reviewed in the past. There are different options of colors, too! There are ones in Dark Grey, Light Grey, Lime Green, Black with a Gold magnet and Blue with a Gold magnet. These handy gadgets are only $9.95 and make a great gift!

BlueLounge CableClip

photo credit: Blue Lounge

The last BlueLounge product we have to review is the CableClip. As you can see, this is another gadget to keep your cords tangle-free. This is great, because if you’ve ever thrown cords into your backpack, you know that they often don’t come out so well. For $9.95, you can buy a package of 2 large, 4 medium, or 6 small clips.

The large ones work great for thick power cords and network cables. Medium ones will work well for USB and data cords, small power cords, audio cords and phone cables. The small ones are ideal for  earbuds, small data cables and charger cords.

We’d like to thank BlueLounge for sending us these great products to review at no charge. Our opinion is unbiased and fair, and no other compensation has been paid to influence our reviews.

Under Armor Gear Review: PLYO and Monarch Series for the Galaxy Note 9

All right, it’s a great time to be reviewing Under Armor Gear (UAG) products again, and I am pleased to finally get my hands on two products for the new Galaxy Note 9 with the PYLO and the Monarch Series.

UAG PYLO for the Galaxy Note 9

So, when it comes to the PYLO, it is one of those really stiff and clear cases. When it comes to the corners, they are soft, clearly made for some serious corner impacts. Somehow, this case is pretty light and has some over-sized tactile buttons.

What I like about the PYLO is how it doesn’t have that kind of “buckle” look that is common for most UAG cases (I’ll get to that when I talk about the Monarch). The PYLO has at best a rainbow clear look, which means it is minimalist on the back, but very “busy” on the sides (again, something I will get to with the Monarch).

You should be able to purchase the PYLO for the Galaxy Note 9 for about $39.95 on the UAG site.

UAG Monarch for the Galaxy Note 9

Now, here’s a review of the Monarch case, and, as you can see, it has a distinct look that I have seen on UAG products before. That is the “buckle” look that I don’t know how to describe any other way. I mean, look at the pattern on it, it looks like a buckle, right?

Apparently, the design is all engineered that way. It meets a military standard for drop and shock protection, and it has 5 layers of protection with leather and alloy. It also has a honeycomb traction grip, as well as those places for screws. Like the PYLO, it is hard to believe that it is as light as it is.

If you would like to purchase the Monarch for the Galaxy Note 9, it is available on the UAG site for $59.95 in black or crimson.

EVO 1 from Understands

Just to let you know, I am not reviewing an Apple Computer for this. I don’t think I could get the big Apple to send me one, but I was able to get this company known as Understands to send me the EVO 1. It is that wooden thing that you see there.

I have to admit, for an accessory that is made for Apple products, it certainly doesn’t have the usual sterile look of Apple accessories. One would think that a stand would have less wood and more white plastic, but Understands really…understands.

The wooden look of the EVO 1 really works well for Apple, and I am not certain why. Perhaps it is some kind of contrast thing going on. The only thing that could make it not match is your desk, but it will camouflage on any walnut wood desk.

So, besides being a great stand for some elevation, there are some great features. It has a drawer, and this drawer has some holes in back, just in case you want to run some wires through it.

As someone who has reviewed it, I was concerned about one thing: splinters. I found that the edges were smooth, and it is pretty good craftsmanship.

If you want it, you can get it on the Understands website for about $139.

Jisoncase Microfiber Leather Standing Wallet Case for the iPhone X

So, you know that I like to do reviews of some awesome accessories, and I suppose cases for smartphones are the coolest. I have to admit that I never heard of the Jisoncase, but if their products look like this, then I am going to hear more about them.

This is a case made for the iPhone X with microfiber leather. I am told that this is hand-crafted, and it most certainly feels good on the hand.

This is one of those cases which can double as a wallet, and it has two pockets that are more than big enough to hold a wallet or credit card. In fact, they might be too big.

Like most reviews, I was given a review unit to try out. Now, this image looks like it can be used as a folio stand, but the one I had didn’t look like it could work in such a manner.

Don’t let that turn you off, because the Jisoncase is one great quality product on sale on the Jisoncase site for $18.98, marked down for $24.00. It comes in many different colors as well.

Review of Nomad Products for Your Phone

Nomad is a company that we’ve had quite a bit of experience with. It’s been almost a year since we’ve reviewed Nomad products. They are a company that builds for those “seeking adventure.” We have three different products that we’re reviewing for you today that are ruggedly made for the adventure seekers.

Nomad’s Clear Folio for Samsung S9

This clear protective case has a real, quality leather case crafted by Horween. The leather has the distinct aroma you would expect a leather product to have. The inside of the leather cover has slots to hold six cards, and one for cash. Who needs a wallet anymore, when you can hold it all with your phone? The clear, polycarbonate material has a slim design, and wraps around your phone to keep it well-protected. It has a 6 foot drop protection.

If you want to purchase this case, it’s $49.95 on the Nomad site.

The Nomad Wireless Stand

Need a stand to wirelessly charge your phone? This one can do it in two positions- standing up, or flat on a surface.It has a non-slip rubber base for added stability, and charges at a 7.5W.  The aluminum kickstand tucks right under the product when charging your device on a flat surface.

This product also has a leather surface, and can charge all iPhones and Android devices that have wireless charging capabilities.

We think that this is a quality product, and it can be purchased on the website for $59.95.

Nomad’s USB-C Cable

This high-quality cable that was sent to us is 3 feet long, and has several features that make it extra rugged. It’s flex-tested to meet military standards of 4K. The 100 W output will ensure rapid charging. The outer layer is 500D ultra-rugged nylon. There is a moisture barrier that is 2x thick to protect the 2x RF shield for fast sync, and the 4x Polyamide central core. A rugged person could go through a lot of charging cords, but this one should be extremely durable to last a long time. This sturdy cord is a good buy at $39.95

Nomad sent us these products for free to review in exchange for our fair and unbiased review. No other compensation has been given. Photo credits go to Nomad.

Carry Your Laptop in Style with the Hex Supply Laptop Tote

It’s been a while since we’ve reviewed products from Hex, a company in California that combines fashion with technology. They create designer bags and cases to carry laptops, tablets, phones, and more. When I went to Hawaii five years ago, I took the Hex Cabana laptop tote with me. It has served me well ever since. Well, today, we have a new one to review. This one is the Hex Supply laptop tote.


Photo credit:Hex

What you should know about the Hex Supply laptop tote

  • A padded pocket inside has room for a 13″ – 15″ laptop.
  • Another pocket on the inside will fit a tablet.
  • There is a pocket on the front perfect for a phone.
  • Two pockets on the back of the bag can fit small items.
  • The inside has slots for cards, pens, and keys to keep you organized.
  • There is a removable shoulder strap.
  • The dimensions of the bag: 16.75″L x16.5″W x 5.5″H
  • Volume: 24.9L

Design of the Hex Supply laptop tote

The waxed canvas exterior actually comes in different styles and colors. They are the same price, but are named a little differently. You can find them all under the totes section on the Hex website. The color that we were sent is actually a lighter gray color with a pink lining. The accents are also waxed coated, and this provides a water resistant exterior. Genuine leather zipper pulls add to the classic look. It not only looks good, it is extremely durable with bar-tacked critical seams, and handles/straps that are surplus grade webbed.

Want to buy the Hex Supply tote?

These high quality bags are available for $99.95 on the Hex website.

We thank Hex for sending us this laptop tote free of charge in exchange for our fair and unbiased review. No other compensation has been provided.

New Collection of Catalyst Products Released

Catalyst, a company we have reviewed products for as recent as February, just released a new line of Apple related products on the 10th at Pepcom Digital Experience in San Francisco. We got a chance to get a peek at them, and we will do a round-up briefing on each one in this article.

The Catalyst Carry Case for your Apple Pencil

This rubberized case, available in this slate gray color, will hold your Apple Pencil and adapter, and keep it protected from drops and scratches. The rubberized case prevents it from sliding off your desk. If you happen to drop it, however, it is rated to protect from falls up to 9.9 ft. A small carabiner clip is also included to help you keep track of it. A little bending motion makes your pencil and adapter easy to pop out of their protective pockets. This product is available on the Catalyst website for $21.99.

The Catalyst Apple Pencil Grip Case

Similar to the previous product, this case also has the hypoallergenic silicone material- this time in a triangular shape that lends itself to a comfortable grip. You don’t need to pop out your pencil, as the tip is open ended, but it does have another pocket for the adapter, and those clip together with an included carabiner to keep everything together. The grip case is also MIL STD tested to 810G to protect the pencil in the unlikely event of a drop. $27.99 will buy you this case here.

The Catalyst Waterproof AirPods Case

Now on to protection for those AirPods. This small, innovative case won an honoree award for innovation at CES this year. It’s wonderful if you are around water, as it is waterproof up to 3.3 ft, and drop proof to 4 ft. Also includes a carabiner, so you can carry it with you easily. You can also charge them inside the case with the port for the lightning adapter.
A video is good to demonstrate just what this can do.

This case isn’t exactly new, but it was released in a new color of coral, which is what we were sent. It also comes in Blueridge/Sunset, Frost White, Slate Gray, Deep Plum, Army Green, and even Glow in the Dark!  If you want to get one for yourself, they are $29.99.

 

Impact Protection for the Apple Watch

 

The Series 2 and Series 3 case available in 42 mm and 38 mm is another new product. This one is not waterproof like the other Catalyst cases, but is drop proof up to 9.9 ft with it’s impact truss system. It features 2 layer protection, and a bezel to protect the screen. It also has Catalyst’s patented digital crown button to protect the digital crown button on your watch. It’s easy to install and remove.

$39.99 will buy both sizes in a variety of colors like Blueridge/Sunset, Coral, Black and Space Gray, and Army Green. It does not include a watch band, but we have you covered with the last product…

The Catalyst Sport Apple Watch Band

This band is lightweight(18 grams) and breathable- with it’s honeycomb-like patterned holes. It’s available for the 42 mm and 38 mm Apple Watch Series 1, 2 and 3- and compatible with the Catalyst case.It comes in the same colors as the cases, so it works great with whatever is your style of protection. These bands can be purchased for $39.99 on the Catalyst site, too.

Our thanks to Catalyst for sending us these products to review free of charge in exchange for our unbiased and honest analysis. No other compensation was provided.

Berlin Backpack Carries Your Tech in Style

Toffee is an Australian company that offers many sleek and stylish bags of different types to carry your laptops, tablets, phones, and anything else. Their cases and backpacks offer padded protection for your gear, while adding a classic look. In this review, we’ll talk specifically about the Berlin Backpack.

credit:Toffee

What You Should Know About the Berlin Backpack

From the Toffee website:

  • Outer Fabric: 100% waxed cotton canvas and genuine leather
  • Side pockets: 100% genuine naturally milled leather with a subtle pebble grain
  • Lining: 95% Cotton, 5% Spandex
  • Bag Size: 260 mm/11.4 inches (L), 410 mm/15.3 inches (H), 14 cm/5.5 inches (W)
  • Compatible With: MacBook Air/Pro, Surface Pro 3 & 4 and other similar sized notebooks up to 13-inch.

 

Design

This backpack is very nicely designed. Pulling it out of the plastic wrap it came in, I can smell the leather and cotton canvas. It has a new, clean smell. The straps are slightly padded, but not as thick as most backpacks. Still it provides comfort. The Berlin Bag seems like it would be a bit awkward looking on a big person, as it’s size is really not that substantial.

The backpack comes in these three colors. We received the green one to review. As you can see, there is a leather cup holder on the side, and the front pocket could hold some small things like pencils or calculators.

The inside has a winning craftsmanship with pinstripes, and a quilted pocket to provide some nice cushion for your (13 in.) laptop. The smaller pocket in front of that is just the right size to hold a tablet. Of course, there’s also the additional room in front of that to carry books, or other essentials you might need to take along.

The bottom of the bag has four metal feet, which will allow the bag to better sit upright, and also keeps the material up off the floor. The whole build of the bag looks to be very durable, which is good because:

Berlin Backpack Price

The sleek design and durable build will come with a pricetag. You can buy the bag for about $165, which looks to be in the mid price range for the backpacks/carrying cases offered by Toffee. It does qualify for free shipping off their website.

We would recommend this backpack to students looking for a fashionable way to carry their devices. While Toffee sent us this backpack for free to review, we will remind everyone that we are not sponsored by this company, and our review is done without bias.

Otterbox Pursuit Series Case for Samsung Galaxy S9

OtterBox is a well-known company for their cell phone cases. We have certainly completed many reviews on their products at The Geek Church. The most recent review was an offering for the iPhone X. The new Samsung Galaxy S9 can also be protected by OtterBox. Today’s review is for the OtterBox Pursuit series.

photo credit- Otterbox

Pursuit Features

The Pursuit case promises by Otterbox to be “the thinnest, toughest, most protective case” of their products. It protects from dust, mud, dirt and snow. It’s not waterproof, but the Galaxy S9 is waterproof in and of itself, so that feature isn’t really needed. It has Otterbox Certified Drop Protection with a limited lifetime warranty.

Although there is the raised, beveled edges on the front of the case to help protect the screen, it is recommended by many reviewers out there to get a screen protector for full protection. Many screen protectors will work with this case.

There are nice cut outs to fit your cords and such, and the one on the back for the fingerprint sensor and cut well to prevent the flash reflection. There is a chamber at the bottom of the case to pull the sound to the front- giving an enhanced audio feature in the case. The buttons are easy to manipulate.

Pursuit Set-Up

The case takes a little work to put on, but fortunately there is a how-to video:

Buying the Pursuit

If this kind of protection is what you want for your phone, it comes with a steep price-tag. It costs about $70, and you can buy it on the OtterBox site in three options of colors. It comes in black, black with a clear back so you can see your phone through the case, or Coastal Rise- which is pink with black accents.

OtterBox was generous enough to send us this case for free in exchange for a fair and unbiased review. No other compensation has been provided.